Villiers ‘no’ to UK-Ireland border checks
NORTHERN Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers has rejected suggestions that UK withdrawal from the EU would require border checks to be reinstated with the Republic.
Ms Villiers, who is campaigning for Brexit, said there was “every reason to suggest” that the UK and Ireland could maintain free movement under the kind of common travel area arrangement which existed before the two countries joined the EU in 1973.
She dismissed calls for her to step down from her Cabinet position while campaigning for a Leave vote.
Asked whether Brexit would mean tighter border controls with the Republic, Ms Villiers said: “That’s not inevitable at all.
“It’s perfectly possible to maintain that free movement with Irish citizens.” DAVID Cameron said he hopes for a “reasonable, civilised” battle with eurosceptics as he renewed hostilities with Boris Johnson over the UK’s future in the EU.
Senior Tories have warned the Prime Minister against any more personal attacks on Boris, with the ‘in’ campaign terrified of the influence the maverick London mayor could have on voters ahead of the referendum on June 23.
Mr Cameron urged the public to choose “security, safety and certainty” by voting to remain in the European Union as he visited one of dozens of top businesses whose bosses backed his case in a letter.
He conceded that he was “quite conflicted” about the issue but that his time as Prime Minister had firmly persuaded him of the case – appearing to contrast his experience with that of the Mayor of London.
Mr Cameron said his close friend – who dramatically declared his support for the “leave” camp at the weekend – had a “very strong future in British politics” but he repeatedly stressed that his judgment was “wrong” and he was “disappointed” by his stance.
He told staff members at O2 in Slough: “I just want people to know that I am speaking about this after thinking about it very, very deeply, after thinking about all the things I have learned as Prime Minister over the last six years.
“I have huge respect for Boris as a politician. He is a great friend of mine, he is a fantastic Mayor of London, I think he has a lot to give to the Conservative Party, I think he has a lot to give to this country.
“But on this issue I think he has got it wrong.
“We are going to have, I hope, a very reasonable, civilised argument between us and between other parties and you’re going to find people with some strange bedfellows. This is one where Jeremy Corbyn and I agree.”
In the letter to the Times, chairmen or chief executives of 36 FTSE 100 companies said a Brexit would “deter investment and threaten jobs” – but the total number falls short of the 80 it had been suggested would sign.
Car manufacturer Nissan, which employs 8,000 people in the UK, added its voice to CAM OFF
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